Freetown, Sierra Leone - 2016 - These are the faces of children left without parents, whom the Salesians look after and educate for life. They are "faces that speak of the future."
(Photo: Alberto Lopez, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid)
(ANS – Badajoz) – One of the city buses of Badajoz, in Extremadura, Spain, has been sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thee it will become a mobile unit that can help thousands of children at risk of exclusion who are living on the streets of the city. It will serve to provide medical assistance, food and psychosocial help.
(ANS - Lungi) - Fr Ubaldino Andrade Hernandez is a Salesian missionary who has worked in Sierra Leone. He was in Rome at the Generalate during the photographic exhibition: "Ebola, and beyond Ebola". His testimony is a sign of trust in God. He says that in those strange days of the epidemic they were living with "a real fear of death” but they decided to stay there as parents for many abandoned children." Looking at the pictures of the exhibition, the memories came to mind, and his eyes paused to remember his experiences. "Staying was the best option."
(ANS - Freetown) - The problem of street children, even after many years of efforts, continues to be a difficult issue to deal with, both by the Government and by institutions working for the protection of minors. Last December, 28 children who had been housed at the Salesian centre "Don Bosco Fambul" in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were happily welcomed back into their families. Following that, staff from the Salesian house went out to the streets looking for other vulnerable children and suggesting the Salesian rehabilitation programme to them.
(ANS – Freetown) – Suntia is a girl accommodated in the “Girls Shelter” of Don Bosco Fambul house in Freetown. She came in contact with Don Bosco when she was having a tough time with her father. “During this period I was selling different types of items just to raise money for our upkeep and to cover the rent. Subsequently, I was going around with a placard begging the people for money. Unfortunately, my biological father abused me sexually”. This is the story of her suffering and rebirth.
(ANS – Freetown) – On the evening of Thursday 1st December a fire outbreak completely destroyed “Angola Town”, a slum in front of Don Bosco Fambul. The slum served as a residence for 300 families and approximately 1500 people, most of them children and youngsters. Don Bosco Fambul – which stands just a street away from the slum – was saved thanks to the orientation of the wind and to the intervention of Mary Help of Christians.
Egypt - Higher Education in the Salesian School in Cairo
(ANS - Cairo) - Over the years the Don Bosco Industrial Technical Institute in Cairo has been a centre of excellence. Every year it trains many young people as industrial experts, prepares them to enter the world of work and in this way helps Egypt to a high level of industrial development. In recent months, a number of innovative projects have been developed in the field of renewable energy. We listen to what the people involved have to say:
A rich man who helped Lazarus
In his letter for Lent this year, Pope Francis invites us to be generous with the needy, stressing that this generosity should lead us not to give what is left over but to give of our very own. In this regard, the example set by Chuck Feeney, an 85-year-old man who donated all his possessions to charity, well represents the phrase: "He did not give the crumbs. He gave the whole bread."
Italy - For a Just, Sustainable, Inclusive and Democratic Europe
(ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome (25 March 1957), the founding moment of the European Union, a meeting of Heads of State and Government of the member countries is taking place in Rome. The members will be received by Pope Francis this afternoon, 24 March.
Sudan - "They all appreciate the services offered by Don Bosco to the young"
(ANS - El Obeid) - In recent months the Salesian house in El Obedi received some important visits: a few days ago there was that of the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser. In December 2016 several members of the State Legislative Assembly visited it, and before that, in November 2016, officials of UNICEF and the Ministry of Education paid a visit. Why so much interest? The fact that in a world that is far from simple, the Don Bosco Centre is changing the lives of thousands of young people by means of one of the typical elements of Salesian education: Vocational Training.